I don’t wanna know. I don’t wanna know how average I am, slogging away at an essay only to find out that, after 300 academic assignments, I am only a solid “B” student.
I avoided taking my grade 5 piano exam when I was 10 years of age because I knew it would assign me to the ordinary meh-I’m-not-so-great-or-special-after-all. I knew it would make me eat humble pie. I knew someone would blow me out of the water and make me look like I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew it would make me have to accept I had an ordinary brain. I always had rather be called insane and pitiable than admit to lying and stupidity. Life is about choices among vanities.
The fact is, I am a natural B-average student. I’m not an alpha-type minus the brains and psychopathy either. I’m plain Jane in a classroom of super-achievers, timid while sitting in my own apartment, alone, and conversationally at a loss for words on dates. The only refuge I find is in this blank screen. If I stay here long enough, I might not notice the Apocalypse.
Like my chemistry teacher said in my final year at high school, there will always be someone smarter than you, there will always be someone dumber than you, and someone dumber than the idiot whom you thought was dumb enough already. Can’t say that gave me a lot of encouragement.
But he was just telling it like it is. He never mollycoddled us. He never played favourites in marking us (which allowed me to get the highest grade of the class in a difficult, second-term that year,) and as abusive as he was at times with misogynistic jokes about his mother, his wife and female students perceivably identifiable in the class, he nevertheless made us great chemistry students. He told us what to focus on for finals, but when it came to everyday class, he sported the attitude that if we really want to pass, it’s up to us. So, lugging my big chemistry textbook home everyday, I studied hard. I studied my classmate’s notes when sick. And though I never became a scientist, I became a good learner.
I didn’t realize how ordinary I was until I made friends with my bestie in Australia. She is amazingly intelligent. She puts up with my beta mindset, I think, because she is someone who gives people a chance and wants to see them blossom. She’s not without flaws, but I would be on Skype with her and would be drooling because, Man, is she ever smart! While I am stuck in the forever polliwog-possibilities stage, she goes out and accomplishes things.
I realized that my only strength is in portraying a youngish woman yearning to obtain that potential, but never quite getting there. It is the chase of the Greek gods all over again. You know, the ancient ceramics found off the coastal waters that yielded treasured vases of Greek gods chasing down beautiful women, but never quite getting them. Why not? Because the charm is in the chase, not in the obtaining. So, perpetually, passersby admire the circular chase. And dream. That’s what I’m good at doing: aspiring, and spurts of hard work. But I get nowhere. I need structure and a systematic way of learning subjects, or else, everything is hopelessly at stalemate.
Sometimes it’s easier having stalemate. You don’t need to constantly defend or alternatively work hard. It’s time to grow up. I think. ~V
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